Kids deserve better than House bill
I firmly believe, we must focus on the overall quality of life for Iowa’s children. We need to unfold the full potential of every child in Iowa and make sure each graduate has the skills necessary to land a good-paying job or pursue higher education. Any education plan we approve must be research based and improve learning for all students.
Last session, I was invited by the Governor to sit down with him and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, to discuss his education reform proposal. He expressed his concern about Iowa’s rank on several standardized tests. I told him while I value the data provided by these tests, my deepest concern is for the kids from families facing economic hurdles nearly impossible to overcome. I made the case that we need to pay just as much attention to statistics relating to the number of kids who qualify for free and reduced lunches. Thankfully, this program is available to kids and families experiencing financial challenges. The number of kids on this list goes up and up. I told the governor, ‘when we put parents back to work, we raise student test scores.’
Shift forward to this week at the Capitol. The House Majority offered their Education Reform Plan. We had a very long night of debate on Tuesday. In fact, the final vote didn’t come until around nine o’clock the next morning. While the bill passed along party lines, I’m concerned that it will not improve student achievement. I couldn’t support the bill, and frankly, I hope the Senate sends us a better option.
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